A young artist so talented living in NYC went from a graffiti artist to and exhibition at the Whitney museum. Jean Michele Basquiat's work can still be seen at the Museum of Modern Art. He was born in 1960, His father was Haitian and his mother was puerto rican. As a young struggling artist living with his friends, after quitting during his last year of high school, he sold hand made post cards when he was not spray painting city buildings and subway cars. He was befriended by many very well known artists such as: Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel (Who directed the biographical film "Basquiat" in the 1996). This movie was a reenactment of Baquiat's life and encounter with Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel. The link below is an excerpt from the movie "Basquiat".
Basquiat was once described as "The Radiant Child" by poet/artist Rene Ricard in 1981. Unfortunately like many creative geniuses his misguided creative passion led to his demise. In 1984 his close friends became concerned about his use of heroin. In1986, Basquiat was one of the most famous NY artists traveling to Africa, Paris, and back to NY for an incredible publicity tour. In 1988, He returned from Hawaii claiming to be drug free in the month of June; In August he died from a heroin overdose at age 27. To truly experience his work go to the following link.
Basquiat was a young energetic passionate soul during the Black Arts Movement. He had an honest approach to art as an anti corporate vehicle, driving his message home to his hoi palloi. The movie "Basquiat" has an unknown actor playing Jean Michel Basquiat, but the part of Andy Warhol is brilliantly done by David Bowie. Basquiat, just like Micheal Jackson is best described as "An abstract painting"(Colleen Ayers). It is emotional, at times disturbing, but with the proper method of inquiry, embraced for is originality and execution.